Booting Up Time

If I had a dime for every time I sat waiting for my computer to boot up, I’d have lots of dimes. I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Before hourly workers at a Las Vegas call center were officially on the clock, they had to boot up their computers, wait for programs to load, and confirm their phone was connected. Huh, sound familiar? At the end of the day, they had to log out and wait until the systems were successfully powered down before they could leave. They filed a class action lawsuit saying they should have been paid for that time. 

Now under the law, nonexempt workers must be paid for all time spent performing the duties of their job, unless the time is so-called de minimis, the few seconds to few minutes someone has to be at work that isn’t generally counted toward their shift. The call center workers estimated the time they spent in the morning and at night was between 15 and 20 minutes a day that they weren’t paid for. The appeals court just ruled that their case may proceed so we’ll see if the court says an employer has to pay you if the computer keeps you waiting.

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